Xbox One angers hardcore gamers, gives PS4 a head start
The gaming market isn’t what it used to be. With smartphones and tablets able to play high quality single and multiplayer titles, the casual gamer really has no need for a dedicated gaming console. Both Sony and Microsoft knew this when dreaming up their next generation consoles and took strategic decisions to keep them in the game (pun intended).
After the Xbox One reveal it was clear that Microsoft’s focus is now on casual and non-gamers. The whole presentation was a pitch for an all-in-one entertainment system rather than a traditional gaming console.
All the talk was about the non-gaming functionalities. TV features were mentioned more than anything else, deals were made with sports teams, and it was astonishingly announced that the Xbox could double as a TV box. Microsoft even announced a Halo TV series being produced by none other than Spielberg.
In fact, although Microsoft showcased a few games at its grand reveal, most of the time dedicated to this aspect of the Xbox One was taken up by the new Call of Duty, which won’t even be an Xbox exclusive. Games seemed to be the very last thing on Microsoft’s list of priorities.
Hardcore gamers were outraged and before morning there was a storm of rants against the Xbox One, with many people writing it off as a glorified TV box.
Forums like NeoGaf are filled with negative comments about the console. The videos for the Xbox One on YouTube had hundreds of angry comments before Microsoft took steps to disable them. The dislikes remain to show how the people feel though.
A lack of backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games, restrictions on trading games and the fact that the Xbox One won’t run without the Kinect (Microsoft's camera and microphone device) and an internet connection further upset would-be buyers. Needless to say there was a lot of concern about privacy -- especially after news about PRISM broke.
Microsoft has an opportunity to mend its relationship with the hardcore gamers at E3, but so far it is Sony which has really shone -- thanks in no small part to a great presentation and this clever video.
Enter the PS4
While Microsoft has put all its efforts into attracting non-gamers to the Xbox One, Sony has been impressing gamers of all types with the PS4’s graphics and computing capabilities. It’s also showcased a lot of great titles.
The PS4 offers features which won’t just appeal to hardcore gamers but may even seduce casual gamers too. The live streaming feature, which lets you to send out a live stream of the game you are playing to your friends, is already creating a lot of buzz in gaming circles. Possibly the most exciting thing about it is it allows your friends to interact with you as you play the game. There was also a mention of gaming social media which sounds quite interesting.
For me though, the thing that really separated the PS4 presentation from the Xbox One was the focus on games. Sony’s showcase was all about the games. There were a lot of trailers and a pretty strong list of release titles.
Sony is in a much stronger position than Microsoft at E3 but really you can’t say anything for certain until the show closes in a couple of days.
Microsoft may have overdone the whole entertainment system routine at the initial reveal but it still has a little time left to mend its image...
Curtis Taylor is aspiring to be the lead public technical advisor throughout the world for all things in personal electronics. He has a passion for gaming, his dog Ralph, and playing pranks on his co-workers. Curtis’s desire to uncover and understand the technical aspects of devices is shown through his projects sited on every major tech site on the web. Curtis is head of research and development for RepairLabs. which is a device repair facility and an influential tech blog. Repairlabs is on a mission to change the world through its charitable program Operation Hero (help each repair overcome). Follow him @repair_Labs